Strathe had won the OCSAA state championship the past two years, but said this title means the most.
“The last two years are like nothing compared to this,” he said. “This is a lot bigger, a lot more players. Everyone had to qualify just to get here.”
The junior at Rejoice Christian entered Tuesday's final round tied with Tishomingo's Preston Lovett for the lead and two strokes ahead of Stults.
Lovett, a sophomore, shot a 75 on Tuesday — his highest round of the tourney — to finish third.
But it was Stults that Strathe was most worried about on Tuesday. He said he knew Stults was capable of shooting a low score because the Luther senior had shot a 65 at the regional qualifier.
“I knew there were a lot of really good players right on my tail,” he said. “I knew I had to really watch (Stults), but I didn't worry about anyone else and played my game. I started off good and got a rhythm and kept it going.”
Strathe said he played Tuesday's final round more conservatively than he normally would.
“I didn't want to blow up on any holes and make a big number,” he said.
Meanwhile, Stults would like to have a mulligan for his first round Monday, when he shot a 77. He bounced back with scores of 73 and 71 over the next 36 holes but couldn't overcome the opening round of 6 over par.
Strathe didn't have a score higher than 74 in his three rounds.
“I'm a little disappointed I didn't start better,” Stults said. “The wind was up and I just didn't hit the ball as well or putt well. But I played well the last two rounds.”
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